The growth of the Internet of Things will provide a data challenge

By 2020 the internet of things is predicted to have swelled to a quarter of a billion connected devices and these will be creating more data than ever before.

This is going to result in a large amount of ‘non-useful’ information that is created and stored, a data storage expert has said.

“We’re about to see a huge explosion in the amount of data being produced – there’s useful data and then there’s non-useful data,” Furhaan Khan, who is responsible for corporate development at Verne Global, told Factor.

He said that as the amount of data we produce increases, such as that gathered by wearable devices, we will need ways to store and dispose of the information that is or isn’t relevant.

“That’s one of the other challenges of the internet of things; there’s going to be so much data that it’s frankly useless,” he said.

“I hope that it is completely pointless measuring my heart rate right now because it should be normal but I am sure I could have a device that captures it. Do we need to keep that data? Probably not.

“We need to look at it very quickly and say that’s it, we can get rid of that bit of data.”

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Khan, who was speaking at the RE.WORK Internet of Things Summit in London, said that a computer or system in the future needs to be smart enough to process the data which we need to keep and that which can be discarded.

Something needs to decide that it is useless and that needs to happen in a computer somewhere,” he said.

“Some computer needs to have the processing ability and capability to say this is useless, this is good and this is what I will continue to process.”

To this end, he believes that the information which is produced needs to be handled in a similar way to how the body processes information.

He compared a data center to the brain as it is in the best position to collect and process information. Verne Global’s data centers are based in Iceland as the location allows them to be completely carbon neutral, it costs less to power and it is well connected to networks.

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Khan also says that what happens to the data which is collected and processed by applications and devices that are connected to the internet of things may not be the first thought of those that are creating the products.

“Perhaps the developer doesn’t really think about it because they are too busy building their app or device, but the more data they produce the more it needs to be processed and the more power guzzling the end product is.”

He believes that more data centers will need to be built to handle the amount of new information that is created.

“What you need is somewhere for that data to become useful and into what I would call information rather than raw data and that needs to happen at the data center level.

“Some of it happens on your phone, in the example of a fitness tracker for example, equally the phone will only do part of the puzzle the rest of it needs to happen somewhere where there is raw computing power.”

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